When most car enthusiasts think about a 700+ horsepower vehicle, they are going to turn their head to the luxury and supercar manufacturers of Europe. Companies such as Lamborghini and Ferrari have been producing cars well past this benchmark for years, but this exclusive club has been breached with recent road tests carried out in the United States. Almost as if it is a look back to the 1960s, Detroit has decided that they are going to enter into the 700hp club with their Camaro ZL1, an American-made vehicle that boasts the horsepower of the Lamborghini Aventador.
When Chevy set out to make a production muscle car with more than 700 horsepower, they had quite a few barriers to overcome. Not only were they going to come up against stiff competition in the American muscle market, they would also be compared to the supercars of Europe. This competition was only the beginning as the company continued to struggle with low sales and wasn’t even sure they would find a market for a true muscle car that had power that has never before been seen in this market. When fans first saw the quarter mile times, engine horsepower, and wheel horsepower though, many of those doubts faded away.
Everything from the air intake to the transmissions had to be reinforced or completely rebuilt from the ground up in order to handle all of the power that the LSA engine produces. The baseline model does come in at 580hp @ 6000 rpm, but a few upgrades from the manufacturer will push this 4,200 pound vehicle just past 700hp. Along with a supercharger attached to the 6.2L V8, drivers will be pleasantly surprised at just what kind of power they are producing when they first put their foot on the gas pedal.
The Game of One-Upmanship
Many experts are wondering what prompted Chevy to produce a vehicle that is not only on the higher end of a price tag for the casual customer, but also well past the range of necessary horsepower for a production vehicle. Most will take a closer look at the game of one-upmanship between the Charger, Shelby Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro. In a time when most luxury supercars are no longer within reach of even the relatively wealthy, these companies are showing that they can still produce some of the most powerful, eye-catching, and over-the-top muscle cars in the world.